Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Quick Note About the Cover Wrap on This Week's Issue of Scene

Posted By on Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 9:06 AM

click to enlarge img_4009_1_.jpg

Dear reader,

If you pick up or see this week's issue in print you will probably notice what appears to be a cover featuring Zack Reed and an endorsement of his mayoral campaign. While it is, technically, the cover of the magazine in a physical sense, it’s actually a paid advertisement. The “advertisement” label up top and the name of the organization that purchased it at the bottom of the page make that (sort of) clear. It’s a “cover wrap,” in industry parlance. The actual cover is a photo from this week’s dynamite feature on Cleveland’s hip-hop ecosystem.



Scene is a business and we depend on advertising to survive. Cover wraps are one of the advertising options offered by the sales department. They have long been strenuously opposed by the editorial staff. The cover, we feel, is a sacrosanct space. It’s the first thing a reader sees; it tells you what we think is the most important or interesting thing you’ll find inside, and it sometimes stands alone as a singular editorial statement.

While we’re against all cover wraps, the politically oriented ones are the most editorially dangerous. In the past, these have included ads for Ken Lanci, in 2013, and Jack Schron, in 2014. Though the ads indicate that they are paid for, the indications are small and easy to miss. That’s by design. The whole point is giving readers like you the impression that Scene has endorsed the pictured candidate. We have been criticized for these decisions in the local and national press.

This week’s cover wrap featuring Zack Reed was accepted and printed in the face of vocal opposition from the editorial staff. Management listened to our concerns and, as they’re entitled to do, opted to run it anyway.

The mayoral election on Nov. 7 is a crucial one for the city of Cleveland. Through 2017, we’ve tried to cover the race in ways that other outlets in town have not, focusing considerable attention on challengers (even longshots) with the aim of increased civic participation. We did not endorse a candidate in the primary, and we are not endorsing either candidate in the general election. Scene, in fact, does not publish political endorsements of any kind. Our reporting has, however, led us to conclusions that we haven’t been shy about voicing, particularly with articles critical of Frank Jackson. We trust that you understand that those conclusions were not and would never be influenced or purchased by an outside entity. This week’s cover wrap creates that appearance, though, and in the interest of transparency, we wanted to address the issue directly.

Sincerely,
Scene’s editorial staff

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation